Morosi: What stood out from Matty Beniers’ season with Seattle Kraken

May 4, 2022, 12:36 PM
Seattle Kraken Matty Beniers...
Matty Beniers of the Seattle Kraken prepares for a faceoff during the second period against the New Jersey Devils at Climate Pledge Arena. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The inaugural Seattle Kraken season has come to a close.

Seattle Kraken offseason primer: Key dates and decisions

The 2021-22 season wasn’t exactly kind to the Kraken, who finished with the third-worst record in the NHL and were eliminated from playoff contention very early. The season also saw Seattle trade many of its more veteran players at the NHL trade deadline in March.

But the Kraken did have some bright moments in the second half of the season, especially when it comes to younger players who are expected to be in Seattle for the foreseeable future.

One player in particular who shined was rookie Matty Beniers, the first-ever Seattle Kraken draft pick who was selected second overall in the 2021 NHL Draft. After his college season at Michigan ended, Beniers signed with Seattle and played in the team’s final 10 games. It’s safe to say Beniers made quite the impression.

In those 10 games, Beniers recorded nine points (three goals, six assists) and was especially valuable on the power play, scoring two goals and recording four points.

So what makes the 19-year-old center so impressive at the NHL level already? NHL Network insider Jon Morosi joined Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Jake and Stacy last week shortly before the Kraken’s season ended to break down Beniers’ play.

“His level of competitiveness in all three zones I think really stands out,” Morosi told Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost. “And the goal scoring has been there. I was not convinced that he would come into the NHL and score goals right away, and of course he scores in his second (game) and then he’s already had now a number of goals that he scored and he’s been racking up the points. I really have admired just the way that he has been able to find space at the NHL level.”

Morosi believes Beniers’ time playing for NCAA powerhouse Michigan, which had sky-high expectations this past season, really helped prepare the young center for his first taste of NHL action.

“I think he’s someone that benefited from having all the pressure on him at Michigan this year. He was looked to as the top-line center, the playmaker. He had to make everything move and he was wearing a letter – he was the alternate captain as a sophomore, which is a huge honor,” he said. “And I think from Matty’s perspective, he felt maybe almost more pressure at Michigan than he is right now (with the Seattle Kraken). Obviously the level of play is higher, but he can just sort of play his game without necessarily worrying about being the guy all the time. And I think you’re just seeing him play really free and play off the talented players around him and finding space.”

Beniers joining the Seattle Kraken and immediately contributing is a great sign heading into the franchise’s first real full offseason, Morosi said.

“I just think it’s a great story for the organization to have him sign and be as ready as he is,” he said. “And to take that energy and momentum into next year, and of course seeing what the Kraken also come up with in the draft because we know they’re gonna get a very high pick in the draft coming up, as well.”

Listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below.

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Morosi: What stood out from Matty Beniers’ season with Seattle Kraken